Daily Schedule

As a part of my efforts to improve work / life balance, a schedule is essential. I jotted down a list of some the things that I need in my daily schedule in order to be successful at work and in life. Currently, the daily schedule looks like a summer camp for of mindfulness and self-improvement. I have decided not to restrict myself to allotted times, rather granting some wiggle room (this freedom allows my creativity and productivity to thrive).

Running / Fitness 

Days are better for me when I run. It jumpstarts my day, gets my blood flowing; it challenges me yet calms me. Beginning the day with the run, I have accomplished something the the rest of the day cannot take away from. During runs, I am able to process thoughts, experience the outdoors, and stay in strong physical shape. The fitness is listed as some days will fall under a recovery day, those days will include yoga, core strengthening, swimming or cycling.

Writing

My self-awareness is higher, mindfulness more abundant when I write. With the practice of writing, I include a few moments of meditation. I reflect and plan, note expectations and experiences, challenges and successes; as well as potential places for improvement. Sometimes is a reflective journal entry, other times it becomes more of an essay on life or a testimony about certain elements within my life.

Coffee

Over the past several years, coffee has become a staple. It is more than just a shot of caffeine for me; I truly enjoy the flavors that different coffee’s provide. Though Cuvee Coffee is my absolute favorite, I like finding new coffee’s – especially when I travel.

Community

We all need people. Funny enough, I was recently reminded of this through the Lego Batman movie. Granted I watched it at a time when there was a great shift in what I thought I knew regarding my future. The themes that rang true were family, friends, and Not-going-it -alone. Even though each of us may be strong as individuals we are stronger together. Often times. experiencing places, things or events with others adds a significant amount of value to that moment.

Sports

With a career in youth soccer development, sports are a piece of my everyday life. I enjoy watching most sports and keep up with the sport world. Of course, it is most enjoyable when I get to play as well.

Learning

Currently, learning some things about myself, as individual (outside of a relationship). I look to learn something new daily – whether it pertain to the world, nutrition, the Spanish language, or the driver’s education course which I am enrolled.

Outdoors 

Nature. It does so many good things for the soul. Beyond breathing fresh (for the most part) air, sunshine, water, greenery and touching the actually earth  – each of these appeal to the senses and enhance life.

Relaxation

Any or all of these activities or items can be combined. After two weeks with this schedule, only the writing portion has be solitary (or just coupled with coffee). This was necessary at the time; now that I share some of that with you, it falls under community.

Hello again: Work / Life Balance

I’ll skip the part where I list all the reasons excuses for why I have posted in a while. I’ll also accept your forgiveness for my absence and my learning to write again. My paucity in posts could essentially be boiled down into one reason: a lack of work / life balance. This blog was never work but more about life; it lost out when I took on more responsibilities at work. Over the past month, I have recognized the problem and am taking necessary steps to resolve the issue.

The past year I have become immersed in work. This is due, but not limited, to an excitement about the possibilities, an inability to say no, an avoidance of other potential problems in my life and a lack of a fixed schedule. Being so involved in work meant losing out on relationships, events and most of the enjoyment that came along with them. Don’t get me wrong, I was still enjoying work but unhealthily neglecting everything else; even to the point of beginning to resent the work.

Recently, I have take a few steps to remedy this. Recognizing the problem is a big part of resolution, so I am on the right track. I have also begun meeting with a mentor, that understands the work that I do. He had some good advice regarding some beginning steps to take.

  1. Do not be an item on somebody else’s to do list. I would reply to texts, phone calls, and emails immediately, regardless of the urgency, time or day. One could argue that I was almost waiting for the next one to come through. Moving forward: I will have a certain time of day where I check and reply to emails. I will update my settings to eliminate every email from coming to my phone will put my phone away at night, only responding to personal (non-work) calls and texts. These two actions are combined with the new expectations and boundaries I will set with colleagues and clients.
  2. Take some time for yourself. I did not have a regular day off; a day that I could take care of me, relax, explore, learn or enjoy. I plan to take at least one day a week and also capitalize on the time I have during the summer.
  3. Set a schedule. I had failed to define a daily schedule. So I was flexible, which is good (yes, very go with the flow), but it also allowed me to fall victim to the flow. It didn’t give me any reason to say no – which meant I was overeager and vulnerable to overuse. My schedule will be another post altogether but involves: running, coffee, writing, learning, community, etc.
  4. Live with a Growth Mindset. In some aspects of life, I felt I was open to change or development. With others, I was closed off, thinking it is what it is. This topic is also post in and of itself. I look to continue to nurture that mindset and a “not yet” mentality.

An additional bonus is that for my job next year, I will be at set location so my vehicle will no longer be a storage unit. It will be nice to have my vehicle and my life back.

Looking forward to finding that balance.

storytelling

One of the reasons I love to write is the opportunity to tell stories. Most of the time, I am telling my own story, whether of a new experience or my opinion’s effect on how I live. As a ghostwriter I have the additional opportunity to write the stories of others. Everyone has a story; everything has a story.  Our experiences make us individuals, every individual has their own story to tell.

Recently, I met a couple of guys and we were cordially sharing what we do, who we are and where we were from. I mentioned my main three occupations but per usual, the ghostwriter label stuck out. These two were fascinated with idea that I met with people and told their story; even more so that I could make a living doing this. One guy said, “so, you’re a storyteller?” This question really struck a chord with me. Storyteller is a much more interesting occupation than ghostwriter. It is a more refreshing way to tell others what I do.

Sharing your story is important. Tell others of your adventures: whether you have hiked Kilimanjaro (as my cousin Annie just did) or weekly make a difference by volunteering. People need to hear stories; histories and adventures, stories of love and suffering. Stories add to our humanity, bring us closer to each other and sometimes make life worth living. Additionally, I hope you can seek people out and listen to their stories. There is so much to learn by listening.

new year’s refresh-olutions

As I mentioned at the end of last year, the end of a year or beginning of a new, brings about change. People want to be better at something, do more or less of something, and the like. Honestly, year after year, these resolutions are the same. You shouldn’t have to resolve the same thing you resolved the previous years and you shouldn’t resolve just what everyone else is resolving. Resolutions should be unique to you in the time of life you are existing within.

Actress, blogger, and super-cool personality – Alexi Wasser words it like this in one of her ‘the blind leading the blind‘ post, “always be refreshing…”

I would like to be more refreshing this year; whether it be the stories I tell, my presence in a room, the way I write or what I write about. Eating better, sleeping better, listening better and even writing a novel of my own, should all come from my refresh-olution. If nothing else and sometimes in the smallest way, maybe I can leave everyone else feeling a little better.

comfort words

We are all familiar with the term “comfort food”, whether it be chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, apple pie or one of each. These comfort foods have a special place in our lives, we turn to them – transcend time and escape to a place in our memory that resonates happiness. We love the way they taste and how easy they are to prepare. For whatever reason we eat them, these foods make us feel better.

Because of the title and tags of this post, most of you have already made the jump but I will carry the rest of you across this bridge.

We also turn to particular words as fillers or pseudo-conjuctions, in times of unease or stress; we love the way these words taste. These words we use are so easily produced, they’re not the ‘recipes’ we are bragging about to our book clubs. They go unnoticed in most cases but always have an unusual way of making us feel better.

Without any proper polling or case-study, I would have to say the number one overcooked culprit of speech is currently the word Like. The use of like other than to compare, “This is like that.”, to show desire, “I would like some pie.”, or to show an admiration, “I like you.” is most likely to use the word to fill a void. For a while, I thought this was just a problem with our youth but as we (including those younger than myself) grow older, we are still using the word. In High School and College speech classes, the use of Like in this way affects your grade. In the real world it makes you look less confident and less intelligent. Another major speech class no-no is the word Um. Um is actually defined as an interjection to indicate hesitation. Just don’t use it. Precisely easier said than done; easier still to write than say.

My comfort words are so and anyways. In any given conversation, I will use those two words to transition, fill silence or show my unease with a particular subject or person. I will even use so in text, especially if it is a random text or someone I haven’t talked with in a while. Anyhow and anywho sometimes replace anyways for me but still remain unnecessary. No excuses!! I am committed to making better choices with the words that I say or write.

What are your comfort words? If you aren’t aware talk to someone you spend a lot of time with, they will be able to tell you. Be open for this criticism and allow it to help you become a better communicator.

miscellaneous monday: metamorphosis

Change is tough and scary. It is hard to let go of something and find something else to hold on to. Changes that happen in our lives come and go. Some are involuntary – changes to our bodies, parents moving so we have to change schools, someone fires us or breaks up with us; then there are the times where we are the catalyst. The former can be dismissed because they were beyond your control, while the latter carries more weight because you are the one that made it happen.

BUT – you knew all that… you also may have guessed that I am experiencing some change myself. After three solid years as a massage therapist at Life Time Fitness, I have resigned. My time there was worth it but IT is no longer worth my time. Of course there were a number of factors that went into my decision, some could say it was a long time coming, but the main reason was that it was no longer how I wanted to spend my time. Massage is a wonderful thing and I appreciate what it does for me – relaxation, injury prevention, balance; I enjoy giving those things to others and still will, just not at LTF. When it comes down to it – I would rather be… writing.

Eliminating my position at Life Time gives me the extra bit of freedom that my mind needs to spend that time writing. My energy is no longer divided among another part-time job but committed to the one that I prefer. My blog, my fiction, and my career as a freelancer (& ghostwriter) are free to bloom again.

Ghandi – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Norman Vincent Peale – “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Harold Wilson – “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.”